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Apple aims to cure depression, Anxiety, and Cognitive decline using its smartphones

In today’s society, we are hearing many confessions from people who belong to both low and high-profile societies suffering from depression. Heck, I can even tell that some of you who are reading this article are currently undergoing some kind of depression that’s eating you from inside.

People spend years in decline or disbelief that there might be something going on in their heads and the Cupertino California-based tech giant believes that iPhones could be used to detect depression, anxiety, as well as cognitive decline.

Apple plans on undertaking this task by using several digital clues and will also use health data collected from physical activity as well as sleep patterns. However, this may still raise yet more privacy concerns however, Apple is determined to offer this service to its users and has promised that all the diagnosis work will be carried out on the device without uploading any data on the server.

Apple 5 Apple aims to cure depression, Anxiety, and Cognitive decline using its smartphones

The report is coming from WSJ, and this is what it reads.

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Apple Inc. is working on technology to help diagnose depression and cognitive decline, aiming for tools that could expand the scope of its burgeoning health portfolio, according to people familiar with the matter and documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal […]

The data that may be used includes analysis of participants’ facial expressions, how they speak, the pace and frequency of their walks, sleep patterns, and heart and respiration rates. They may also measure the speed of their typing, frequency of their typos, and content of what they type, among other data points, according to the people familiar with the research and the documents […]

The efforts spring from research partnerships that Apple has announced with the University of California, Los Angeles, which is studying stress, anxiety, and depression, and pharmaceutical company Biogen which is studying mild cognitive impairment. “Seabreeze” is Apple’s code name for the UCLA project and “Pi” is the code name for the Biogen project, according to the people and documents […]

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The extent of user tracking that may be required could spark privacy concerns. To address them, Apple aims for algorithms that work on users’ devices and don’t send the data to Apple servers, the documents show.

Apple will undertake a UCLA study that will be tracking data for 3,000 volunteers starting this year and the Biogen study hopes to recruit 20,000 people to participate over the next two years, around half of which will have risk factors for cognitive impairment.

According to the report, the work is still in its very early stages, and there is a chance that it might result in nothing. However, Apple believes that things like depression and other mental illnesses lead to different smartphone usage patterns as shown in several studies however, the challenge here will create reliable algorithms that are reliable enough to accurately figure out the conditions because mental illnesses are still some of the most complicated forms of illnesses.

At the same time, Apple executives are said to be optimistic.

Even though the effort is at an early stage, top Apple executives are excited about the possibility. Chief Operating Officer Jeff Williams, who oversees Apple’s health unit, has spoken enthusiastically to employees about the company’s potential to address surging rates of depression and anxiety as well as other brain disorders, according to people who have heard him talk about the efforts.

Mental illness and depression are not something that we just lock in the corner of our mind and forget about it, it takes real courage and strength to accepts that there is something wrong in our brains. My advice, change the way you live, take a break from everything, especially from the people who always talk negatively and leach over you. Spend time with yourself, a change in scenery will help, and above all, start watching Anime, it cures depression, my advice, goes for Naruto and OnePiece, they will lift your spirits.

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Nivedita Bangari
Nivedita Bangari
I am a software engineer by profession and technology is my love, learning and playing with new technologies is my passion.
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